Seahawks

Fann Mail: Ranking the players the Seahawks must re-sign this offseason

Seahawks

It’s time for the final Seahawks mailbag for the 2020 regular season. Seattle is pursuing its second-straight 12-4 record, needing a Week 17 win over the 49ers in order to get there.

Thanks, as always, to those who asked questions.

I’m sure I’ll answer this question again down the road, but it’s still an important topic to have on the top of my mind. Here are Seattle’s top six free-agent priorities. This doesn’t include Jamal Adams, who won’t technically be a free agent due to his fifth-year option, even though he won’t play a snap in 2021 until he gets a new contract.

1. CB Shaquill Griffin – Lots of Seahawks fans have soured on Griffin, but I still believe he’s a Pro Bowl-caliber corner. He’s one of Seattle’s top draft picks over the last five years, and it’s incumbent on teams to keep home grown talent. Griffin is a fantastic locker room presence as well as a known commodity. The Seahawks can’t let him walk unless they get completely outbid by another team. A diminished salary cap next season could make him more affordable.

2. DT Poona Ford – I wouldn’t have any arguments if you told me that Ford was your No. 1 priority. He’s been tremendous this season and has arguably made a bigger year-over-year improvement than any other Seahawks defensive player. Ford has developed into a potential three-down player with some pass rush upside. Seattle should ensure that Ford doesn’t even reach free agency.

 

3. RB Chris Carson – Who knows what Carson’s market will be with a reduced salary cap and his injury history. My guess is that Carson gets paid well but with the caveat of per-game roster bonuses to give a team some injury protection. Seattle very well might give him that deal. He’s one of the most underrated players in football and a top-shelf running back across the league. Letting Carson walk would mean betting big on Rashaad Penny. Given the team’s first-round investment in Penny, that’s not an impossible outcome, either.

4. C Ethan Pocic – Pocic has proved to be a late-bloomer now that he’s finally healthy and playing his natural position. He’s been a solid center and should be affordable to keep. There’s no reason why center should be on Seattle’s to-do list next offseason when the team can simply re-sign Pocic.

5. LB K.J. Wright – Wright has been tremendous this season, and it’s hard to envision the Seahawks defense without him, even with Jordyn Brooks waiting in the wings. Wright would have to take a major pay cut in order to stay, but it could happen.

6. DT Bryan Mone – One of the true unsung heroes of this season deserves a new deal. The same can be said for Ryan Neal.

Honorable mention – The Seahawks should give D.J. Reed an extension this offseason, even though he’s already under contract in 2021.

Any worries about the Seahawks offense should have been eliminated when Jacob Hollister caught a game-sealing 13-year touchdown in the final minutes against the Rams. That capped a nine-play, 80-yard statement drive to put Seattle up two scores. It was the touchdown that the Seahawks have struggled to find on a number of occasions where they couldn’t put teams away, notably the week prior against Washington. Given Hollister’s score came against the NFL’s best defense that was desperate for a stop, that drive counts for a lot.

There are a few areas where Seattle needs to clean up. Russell Wilson can’t take five sacks a game, and the Seahawks need to continue to convert on third down like they did in the second half against Los Angeles. But overall, I think the vibes should be positive across the board with the playoffs approaching.

Pete Carroll said that nobody would be given the week off. That may change if the Saints and Packers are up big at halftime. Seattle would be foolish to not be scoreboard watching on Sunday.

 

This game has more to do with Seattle’s history of struggling against Sean McVay’s offense as anything. The Seahawks made Jared Goff uncomfortable and forced him into bad decisions. Other teams have done that over the years, sure, but not Seattle. That counts for a lot and makes Seattle’s wins over the previous month retroactively more impressive.

All of a sudden, the Seahawks drubbing the Jets 40-3 is no longer a game you completely disregard. The Jets would be winners of 3-out-of-4 had Gregg Williams not called that 0-blitz against the Raiders.

This may have happened a few times, but it hasn’t been the predominant cause for sacks. I went back and watched all five sacks against the Rams. Russell Wilson had an outlet on each. It was a combination of Aaron Donald being Aaron Donald, the Rams having everything covered and Wilson running into two sacks trying to escape the pocket.

Ooh, good question. I’d say D.J. Reed, but I’m not even sure he counts as unsung anymore, which is pretty wild if you think about it. Let’s go with Ugo Amadi, who I’m predicting to have a pick-six in the playoffs.

Yes, I think L.J. Collier has been vindicated in a major way. We’ve seen enough this season to know he can be a fine rotational defensive lineman. He has a respectable 3.0 sacks and six quarterback hits in a part-time role. Maybe he never lives up to his first-round billing, but that’s a regular occurrence with guys picked in that range. Calling him a bust would be obtuse at this point.

Phillip Dorsett is out of his boot and is working out, but it doesn’t sound like he’s close to joining the team at practice. Don’t expect to see him in the playoffs unless Seattle makes the Super Bowl.

Because he doesn’t miss.

Give me the 2013 Seahawks. They smoked one historic offense in the Super Bowl. I see no reason why the “Legion of Boom” wouldn’t dominate another. That was one of the best teams in NFL history.

Pete Carroll said last week that the goal was for Darrell Taylor to practice this week. However, Taylor came out of his weekend workouts “pretty sore” and now it’s unlikely that he practices this week.

The Seahawks couldn’t afford Richard Sherman in 2018. They surely won’t be able to afford him now.

Sadly, there is no update. This continues to be a bizarre saga with little to no information being made public.